New York Life responds when a loved one dies with financial support, but we also recognize that families have emotional needs when they suffer a loss. The New York Life Foundation has long been focused on serving children in need. In 2008, the Foundation expanded that focus to include an initiative to help children deal with the loss of a parent, caregiver or sibling and to help parents deal with the emotional turmoil that results from the death of a close family member.
It is often extremely difficult to know how to help a child recover from the loss of a parent, caregiver, sibling or anyone else who was an important part of his or her life. As part of New York Life’s commitment to providing resources that bolster a child’s ability to cope with and overcome the pain of grieving, we offer you the following resources:
New York Life & Partner Resources for Grieving Children and Families
After a Loved One Dies - How Children Grieve
This 26-page booklet was created by the New York Life Foundation for parents and other adults to help children who have suffered the loss of a parent or loved one through their grief. Written by a leading expert in the field of childhood bereavement, it offers suggestions to help children cope.
When Families Grieve -
Familias en la Aflicción
This DVD, children’s storybook and parents’ guide package tells the story of Sesame Street Muppet Elmo’s grief at losing his beloved uncle and follows four real families through their journey of grief as well.
National Bereavement Resource Guide - children’s and other grief resources
New York Life Partners
Comfort Zone Camp
Comfort Zone Camp is the nation’s largest bereavement camp. Comfort Zone Camps are offered free of charge to children ages 7-17 who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or caregiver, sibling or primary caregiver. The camps are held year-round in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia. Comfort Zone Camps create an environment where grieving children can have fun and break the isolation death often brings while learning valuable coping skills for their daily lives.
Camp Erin is the largest nationwide network of bereavement camps for young people ages 6-17 who have experienced the death of someone close to them. It is a weekend-long experience filled with traditional camp activities combined with grief education and emotional support, facilitated by grief professionals and trained volunteers. At Camp Erin, children are comforted knowing that there are other children who understand exactly what they are feeling and experiencing and they have an opportunity to address their feelings.
Scholastic and New York Life are increasing visibility (and knowledge) about childhood bereavement by:
- developing a grief resources page on the Scholastic Web site www.scholastic.com/childrenandgrief
- providing web cast training for teachers
- distributing After a Loved One Dies – How Children Grieve, developed by New York Life, to school psychologists, libraries and teachers
- partnering with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers to announce the New York Life Award, encouraging teens to submit original works of art and writing that deal with loss and bereavement
Sesame Workshop’s work with military families inspired the When Families Grieve initiative, which emerged as they realized military and civilian families need help to grieve the loss of a loved one. They developed a 60-minute PBS special, hosted by Katie Couric and Elmo, which shares the stories of four families dealing with the loss of a parent. They’ve also created a kit of materials, in both English and Spanish, that supports grieving families.
When Families Grieve was launched at New York Life’s corporate headquarters in April 2010. Katie Couric, Elmo and other Muppet stars were there.